Are you on your third cup of coffee by 1 p.m.? It may be time to evaluate how much sleep you’re getting. People often forget how sleep impacts productivity and work performance, and worse yet, are quick to dismiss the importance of sleep all together. You may be familiar with the idea that you should get a minimum of eight hours of sleep per night for optimal health. However, getting a full eight hours of sleep may be much easier said than done. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to improve your quality of sleep each night – which will in turn improve your productivity at work. Here are some ways to get started:
Make Napping a Habit
Even if you’re not the best sleeper in the world, research shows that taking one to two 20-minute naps per day can boost energy levels, restore alertness and ultimately improve productivity. When it comes to naps, timing is very important as you want to keep your naps under 30 minutes so that you don’t become overtired and groggy. Also, make sure your nap times each day are consistent so they don’t interfere with your nightly sleep schedule. Even though napping is not always an option during the work days, even just a couple naps on the weekends can improve your energy levels.
Develop a Nighttime Ritual
Humans are creatures of habit and your nighttime sleep ritual should ideally be habitual. How you end your day can significantly determine how easily you fall asleep at night and help you mentally and physically relax. Some people find that reading at night eases them into a restful sleep, while others enjoy a nightly cup of decaffeinated tea or warm milk to relax them. You may even find that certain physical activities like an evening walk help you decompress and release tensions from the day.
Disconnect from Work
One of the worst offenders of poor sleep habits is an inability to disconnect from work phone calls and emails. As part of your nighttime ritual, you must make an effort to avoid workplace communication unless it’s absolutely necessary. This means shutting down your computer and putting your phone away as you unwind and start to doze off. Not only will shutting down your tech devices help your sleep quality, but also your mental health and ability to re-energize for the next day.
Sleep quality is undoubtedly an overlooked component of career success. Taking control of your sleep habits will have a positive impact on both your health and workplace performance – you have nothing to lose!
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